Carolina Panthers taking it slow with Ikem Ekwonu
One notable element on Day 2 was the continued insistence of coaches to bring Ikem Ekwonu into the starting rotation slowly. Brady Christensen has manned the left tackle spot early with the first team unit alongside Michael Jordan on the interior, with the 2022 first-round pick coming into the fold a little later on.
This is all part of the process for Ekwonu. The player himself said that a starting job won’t be given and he’ll have to earn it in the coming weeks before taking the field for Carolina’s season opener.
Ekwonu drew praise from Brian Burns after practice. The stud defensive end stated that there are some things that need to be ironed out, but his strong hands and brute force overall have left a solid impression that can hopefully become something more.
The Panthers didn’t select Ekwonu at No. 6 overall for the North Carolina State product to watch from the sidelines. Those in power felt this was the impact blindside presence they’ve been searching for, so the pressure is on to make strides quicker than most.
In fairness to Ekwonu, this is also something he recognizes. Carolina is taking it slow over the first few days, but expect the imposing lineman to establish himself from a prominent starting position as camp progresses.